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Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest: A Great Excuse for a Fall Vacation!

Jul 15 19
by S. Lynne
Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest glass of beer on the beach with the Gulf in the background

It’s not too early to start thinking about raising a glass or two at the Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest. Held every fall at The Village of Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin’s popular shopping and entertainment venue, the festival has earned a reputation as the “Best Beer Fest on the Emerald Coast.” Scheduled this year for October 11 […]

Emerald Coast Poker Run: Playing Cards for a Cause

Jun 27 19
by S. Lynne

You don’t have to own a boat to find plenty of fun during the Emerald Coast Poker Run. This is the 27th anniversary of the annual boating event, presented by the Emerald Coast Foundation as part of Boat Week, August 7-10. And it’s the largest summer poker run in the U.S., annually earning around $150,000 […]

Forgotten Coast en Plein Air Paint-Out Returns to Cape San Blas, Florida

Apr 12 19
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Example of En Plein Air painting for Forgotten Coast en Plein Air Paint-Out

Internationally acclaimed artists will flock to Cape San Blas for 10 days, beginning May 3, for the Forgotten Coast en Plein Air, America’s Great Paint-Out. Hailed as being among the most prestigious events of its kind, the paint-out features professional artists capturing scenes from Florida’s Forgotten Coast on canvas. Celebrating the Recovering Environment This year’s […]

Billy Bowlegs Festival Pirates Invade Fort Walton Beach

Apr 4 19
by S. Lynne
Billy Bowlegs Festival Pirate handing out beads to the crowd

Visitors and residents alike, beware! Fort Walton Beach is bracing for trouble when that infamous pirate, Captain Billy Bowlegs, and his band of merry men stage their annual invasion at the Billy Bowlegs Festival. But the resulting skirmishes should be fun, not mayhem, when Billy and his Krewe come ashore at Fort Walton Beach Landing […]

Fishing is King in Destin!

Mar 4 19
by Charlie Peay
Destin fishing boat going out through the East Pass to the Gulf of Mexico

Destin is not known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” for nothing! The fishing action in Destin can be hot and heavy inshore, offshore, and from beach piers and jetties. All of you do-it-yourselfers will be happy to know that you don’t need a boat to enjoy an excellent day of fishing in Destin. Many […]

Hangout Music Fest 2019 Brings Star-Studded Lineup to Gulf Shores

Feb 22 19
by S. Lynne
Hangout Festival Gulf Shores ALstage and crowd

Some of the hottest new artists on today’s music scene will head the lineup at Hangout Music Fest 2019 in Gulf Shores. Taking the stage during the three-day event, which opens May 17 for its 10th year, are rapper Travis Scott, folk rock band The Lumineers, singer/songwriter Khalid, rock band Vampire Weekend, rapper/singer/songwriter Cardi B, […]

Highway 30A Songwriters Festival Brings Stars to the Beach

Nov 2 18
by S. Lynne
30A Songwriters Festival big audience in Gulf Place Amphitheater

Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, and Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals head the exciting lineup of more than 175 performers participating in the 2019 Highway 30A Songwriters Festival. Scheduled for January 18–21, the star-studded event also features Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Gregory Alan Isakov, Suzy Bogguss, Amanda Shires, Shawn Mullins, Livingston Taylor, John Fullbright, The Secret Sisters, Robyn […]

Gulf Coast Fishing in Northwest Florida and Alabama – A Year-Round Affair

Aug 16 18
by S. Lynne
fishing boat on the water for Gulf Coast fishing blog

It’s a fact that the sugar-white sands and blue-green waters of the Northwest Florida and Alabama Gulf coasts attract millions of visitors each year. But did you know that these locations also offer some of the best fishing in the world? In fact, the fishing fun is just as bountiful as sunshine here. And you […]

10 Top Things To Do in Clearwater Beach

Aug 15 18
by S. Lynne
Pine-shaded spot on white-sand beach at Fort De Soto State Park near Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater Beach is the stuff that postcards are made of — a Florida vacation destination that offers picturesque blue waters so clean and clear you can see through to the bottom. But while it is visually stunning and filled with enough natural beauty to make you forget about the rest of the world, there is much […]

10 Not-To-Miss Things To Do Along Highway 30A

Aug 15 18
by S. Lynne
Yellow-flowering shrubs line a hill above the beach and Gulf at Topsail Hill State Park in Northwest Florida.

While most visitors are naturally drawn to the beautiful beaches when booking a stay on Highway 30A, they quickly realize that there is much more fun and adventure to be had than a simple day at the beach. This renowned location is bursting with natural beauty, serene scenery, and a playful nature. In fact, staying at a beach […]

Discover Florida’s Forgotten Coast

Aug 9 18
by S. Lynne
Majestic sand dunes at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Cape San Blas

The natural unspoiled environment known as “Florida’s Forgotten Coast,” which includes the quiet coastal communities of Apalachicola, St. George Island, Mexico Beach, Cape San Blas, and Carabelle, offers a unique look into the rich traditions of Florida’s Gulf Coast. This colorful area is best known for its excellent oysters, superb fishing, and mouth-watering seafood, but there […]

Plan-Ahead Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach

Aug 1 18
by Alison Large Ketcham
Black-and-white French bulldog sitting on a white-sand beach

Your dog is excited to see you each and every day. His or her enthusiasm lifts you when you’re down. Your dog is your best friend. And now you want to thank your pet for such love and loyalty with a BFF beach vacation. But what are the realities of taking Fido or Fifi to […]

Parasailing in Gulf Shores — Take Your Senses for a Ride

May 16 18
by Chris Chatelain
Parasailing through a bright-blue sky over a grove of leafy palm trees

Imagine you’re a bird soaring above the sparkling Gulf of Mexico, just where the waters meet the white-sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. What would you see? Maybe schools of fish swimming below, or a pod of dolphins playing a few hundred feet under your toes. Perhaps you’d catch a glimpse of sea turtles nesting […]

Siesta Fiesta Art Festival Celebrates 40 Years With Big Block Party

Mar 20 18
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Painting of sunset over the water, on display at Siesta Key's Siesta Fiesta

Celebrate the end of Siesta Key’s peak season in block-party style with the 40th annual Siesta Fiesta, April 28-29, 2018. The outdoor street fair, which is set up over an entire block at Ocean Boulevard and Beach Road, features more than 200 of the country’s most talented artists and crafters. The collections of artwork are […]

Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival: Ready, Set, Build Sand Sculptures!

Feb 12 18
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

For 10 days, the sugar-white sands of Clearwater Beach will become the raw material for works of art – the incredible sculptures created and displayed during the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival. Eleven of the world’s best sand sculptors will be participating in this year’s festival, scheduled for April 13-22 and themed “Sea America, a […]

Visit Tampa Bay Blues Festival, Banish the Lingering Winter Blahs

Jan 16 18
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Daytime band performance at Tampa Bay Blues Festival

St. Petersburg, Florida, comes alive with the blues at Vinoy Waterfront Park during the highly acclaimed Tampa Bay Blues Festival. Hailed as one of the world’s finest blues music events, the festival, scheduled this year for April 6-8, packs out the house with three days of legendary sounds from some of the biggest names in […]

Celebrate Art at Springfest Festival of Fine Arts and Fine Crafts

Jan 3 18
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Anna Maria Island Art League small stylized painting of surf against the sand

Head to the Anna Maria Island Art League’s 30th Annual Springfest Festival of Fine Arts and Fine Crafts and dive into art of all colors, textures, and mediums. Held each year in Holmes Beach, the biggest community on this beautiful barrier island, Springfest brings people of all ages together to share its three biggest attractions […]

Make a Run for It in the Boca Grande 5K Run and Fun Walk

Dec 8 17
by Lisa Milberger Moore

You know you love to run. And you know you love the beach. So, what are you waiting for? Join the folks at Boca Grande Community Center for an island 5K Run and Fun Walk through the historic town, one of Southwest Florida’s premier spots to take in the sun. Not only is the event […]

Happy Tasting at Apalachicola’s Annual Forgotten Coast Chefs Sampler

Nov 30 17
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Local chefs serve guests at the annual Forgotten Coast Chefs Sampler.

Because it’s hosted by a city with the memorable name of Apalachicola, you should expect the 22nd annual Forgotten Coast Chefs Sampler to be uniquely fun. Presented by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce, the event features chefs from all over the Forgotten Coast, preparing and serving their most creative dishes. It’s scheduled for Sunday, […]

Festive Naples, Florida, Cocktail Party Raises Funds “For the Love of Art”

Nov 21 17
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Live entertainment and art at Naple Art Association fundraiser "For the Love of Art"

Art connoisseurs know that the love of art comes from the heart, bringing joy and visual engagement. So it’s no wonder that “For the Love of Art,”  a festive cocktail party/gala organized by the Naples Art Association, is a highly anticipated event that has become as unique as the artistic creativity and artists it showcases. […]

ArtFest Fort Myers – Waterfront Event Is Southwest Florida’s Premier Art Festival

Nov 10 17
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Colorful painting of a tropical scene by ArtFest Fort Myers artist Jim Holehouse

If you ever need a reason to head to the beach, ArtFest Fort Myers is destined to be one of them. The popular event gives you all the fun and sun you need wrapped in one sweet weekend. Held each February on the city’s beautiful waterfront, ArtFest features original artwork from more than 200 experienced […]

Venice, Florida, Christmas Boat Parade Dazzles Visitors

Nov 3 17
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Holiday lights decorate a boat in the Venice Christmas Boat Parade.

As the sun sets on December 2, the Intracoastal Waterway will twinkle with lights from the lineup of boats decked out for the 29th annual Venice, Florida, Christmas Boat Parade. Seasoned boating enthusiasts and novices alike will take to the water for a glittering evening and a chance to claim top spot for the best-decorated […]

Eat Your Way Through Mardi Gras at the Mexico Beach Gumbo Cook-Off

Oct 24 17
by Lisa Milberger Moore

Nothing says celebrate like a Mardi Gras event coupled with a great batch of fresh, spicy gumbo, especially when you’re talking about the 20th Annual Mexico Beach Gumbo Cook-Off scheduled for February 17, 2018. Held during a season of smaller beach crowds and ideal Florida temperatures, this popular event features the best gumbo and Brunswick […]

Top 13 Destin Florida Attractions

May 30 17
by S. Lynne
View of Destin Harbor from Harborwalk Village

  With its white-sand beaches, glittering Gulf waters, and clear skies most days of the year, Destin is a popular spot for vacationers wanting to laze around in the sun. But for visitors looking for a more active vacation, or just a quick break from the beach, there are plenty of other Destin Florida attractions. […]

5 Reasons for Booking Vacation Rentals from the Pros

May 24 17
by Alison Large Ketcham

Finding the perfect beach vacation rental to book for a reasonable price can be difficult. So, we suggest that rather than struggle with uncertainty, you go through an experienced and reputable property management company when booking vacation rentals. In addition to making the booking process easier, the advantages of using a pro may include discounts, […]

“Papa” Enthusiasts Pour Into Key West for 2017 Hemingway Days

May 12 17
by Alison Large Ketcham
Hemingway look-alike contestants gathered on the stage at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West during Hemingway Days

Come one! Come all! Whether you’re a devoted Hemingway fan, a Key West lover, a white-bearded “Papa” Hemingway look alike, a fisherman, a paddleboard pro, a 5K enthusiast, a big-time partier, or all of the above, you’re in for six days of unrivaled fun at 2017 Hemingway Days. The 37th annual celebration of the life […]

Highway 30-A Arts: The Heart and Soul of South Walton

Apr 28 17
by Chris Chatelain
ArtsQuest artist painting outdoor mural

  While scenic Highway 30-A might be best known for its lush landscapes and tropical tranquillity, this renowned stretch of Gulfside road is also dotted with galleries displaying local and regional artwork. From beach paintings to driftwood furniture and seashell picture frames, these South Walton communities offer something just about everyone will love. Plan some time […]

Fort Myers Hosts Fifth Annual Fort Rock Festival, April 29 – 30

Apr 22 17
by Alison Large Ketcham
Fifth annual Fort Rock festival poster featuring English rock band Def Leppard

Music and beach lovers will experience rock-and-roll heaven on earth at the Monster Energy fifth annual Fort Rock Festival, Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. South Florida’s biggest rock festival will feature two stages with a lineup of artists that is sure to appeal to rock-and-roll […]

Budget-friendly Beach Games and Activities

Dec 7 16
by Chris Chatelain
Flying kites is fun for the whole family

All too often, guests plan a beach vacation to Southwest Florida and forget about the key component when planning activities for the trip — the BEACH.  Water parks, excursions and dining can run up vacation expenses in a hurry, especially for families. But there are dozens of beach games and activities that come with little to […]

Ten Easy Day Trips From Gulf Shores, Alabama

Nov 2 16
by S. Lynne
Blooming red plantings and frog fountain at Bellingrath Gardens and Home

When it’s chilly, raining, or you just want a break from the beach, these destinations offer fun-packed options the whole family will enjoy. All 10 are easy day trips from Gulf Shores, AL. – BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME, Theodore, Alabama, near Mobile. The former country estate of Mobile Coca-Cola bottler Walter Bellingrath and his wife, Bessie, […]